Jones condemns ‘disgusting’ Aussies
BRISBANE — Eddie Jones has warned Australia that the ‘disgusting, demeaning and disrespectful’ response to his side on this tour will galvanise England’s quest to clinch a historic series win on Saturday.
England are buoyed by their stunning 3928 triumph in Brisbane and hell-bent on finishing the job at the first opportunity in this three-test series.
As the Wallabies were rocked by the loss of David Pocock for the final two matches with a fractured eye socket, England coach Jones and his players were seeking the emotional edge needed to ram home their advantage.
Far from being content at seeing his players enact his ‘Bodyline’ game plan to telling effect in the opening Test, Jones was left simmering with rage.
The spark was a wildly inappropriate postmatch question, laden with sexual innuendo, from former Wallaby-turned-fox Sports broadcaster Stephen Hoiles, relating to Jones’s victory celebrations with skills coach Glen Ella in the English box.
It followed a campaign of arrogant, mocking pre-series trailers by the same television company which poured scorn on the visitors and dismissed their prospects.
Jones erupted, saying: ‘You’ve seen the promotions Fox Sports have been running this week and the kind of questions we get. It is quite demeaning and disrespectful to the team, so we’re not going to let this opportunity pass.’
Asked if he genuinely believed that England have been disrespected, Jones added: ‘Without a doubt. You get that ridiculous question from Hoiles. You’ve seen the Fox promos — they are disgusting. We don’t need extra motivation.
‘All I am saying is there’s been a disrespectful way in which the team has been treated in the media here.’
Jones is convinced England will continue to face Australian mocking and goading following their record-breaking victory in Brisbane. ‘I am sure they are all going to be lining up,’ he added.
‘There has been a row of ex-wallaby players — you’ve had Hoiles, you’ve had (Simon) Poidevin and you have had (Phil) Kearns; (David) Campese has got to be somewhere. He is coming, for sure. I can see next week something is going to happen.’
The challenge for England this week will be to replicate the intensity of their heroic performance in Brisbane — where they had never beaten the host nation — and to handle the pressure of being within one victory of a series win.
Jones is confident that he has the men of substance and character to cope.
‘There’s good leadership in the team,’ he said. ‘You’ve got guys like Dylan Hartley, James Haskell and Chris Robshaw — they’ve been through the mill. They’ve been through the tough times of England rugby and they don’t want to go back there. They want to keep improving. They want to keep winning.’
That is certainly what they have done so far, with seven wins from seven games under the Jones regime. Looking ahead to next weekend, Jones will face a dilemma over his choice of inside centre after Luther Burrell’s early removal to make way for George Ford in Brisbane.
But the head coach insisted there were no selection issues to resolve and England emerged relatively unscathed despite the fe- rocity of the encounter. They are set fair to take the prize they came for.
‘All we have to worry about is the next week,’ said Jones. ‘We have a great win. That is going to be in the record books. That is never taken away. It is like scoring a Test hundred, no one ever takes that away from you.
‘We have done that but next week is even more important. Australia go into next week as underdogs so they are going to be happy. They hate losing here.’ Australia will certainly hate losing Pocock, who is facing four to six weeks out after being replaced 11 minutes from time in Brisbane.
Head coach Michael Cheika said: ‘He played very well. We have options with experience in the back row, but we’re disappointed to lose a player of David’s quality.’
The Wallabies are also awaiting bulletins on lock Rob Simmons’s back injury, which Cheika conceded is ‘a bit of a worry’.
Scrum-half Ben Youngs (centre) sprints away with the ball in training as coach Eddie Jones shouts his instructions.